Historical Events on March 12

  • 538 Witiges, King of the Ostrogoths, ends his siege of Rome, retreats to Ravenna, leaving the city in the hands of victorious Byzantine General Belisarius
  • 1054 Pope Leo IX escapes captivity & returns to Rome
  • 1088 Odo of Lagery elected as Pope Urban II, succeeding Victor III
  • 1144 Gherardo Caccianemici elected Pope Lucius II, succeeding Callistus II
  • 1350 Orvieto city says it will behead & burn Jewish-Christian couples
  • 1365 University of Vienna founded

Event of Interest

1455 First record of Johannes Gutenberg's Bible, letter dated this day by Enea Silvio Piccolomini refers to the bible printed a year before

  • 1496 Jews are expelled from Syria
  • 1572 Poet Luís Vaz de Camões publishes the epic poem "Os Lusíadas" in Portugal
  • 1594 Company of Distant established for business on East-Indies
  • 1597 England sends troops to Amiens
  • 1612 Bermuda officially becomes part of the Englisg Colony of Virginia
  • 1619 Dutch settlement on Java changes name to Batavia
  • 1622 Ignatius of Loyola declared a saint
  • 1664 1st naturalization act in American colonies
  • 1664 New Jersey becomes an English colony

Event of Interest

1689 Former English King James II lands in Ireland

Event of Interest

1737 Galileo's body moved to Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy

  • 1755 1st steam engine in America installed, to pump water from a mine
  • 1773 Jeanne Baptiste Pointe de Sable found settlement now known as Chicago
  • 1790 French Revolution: The National Assembly issues a decree allowing for the sale of church land by French municipalities
  • 1794 Theatre Royal in London's Dury Lane opens after being rebuilt
  • 1799 Austria declares war on France
  • 1832 The ballet La Sylphide first premieres at the Opéra de Paris.

Event of Interest

1837 British poet laureate Robert Southey writes in reply to 20 year-old Charlotte Brontë "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be." [1]

  • 1848 2nd Republic established in France
  • 1849 1st gold seekers arrive in Nicaragua en route to California
  • 1850 1st US $20 gold piece issued
  • 1857 Desjardins Canal Train Disaster: Canadian Great Western passenger train crashes through rotting timber bridge over Desjardins Canal, near Hamilton, Ontario, killing 59 people [1]

Music Premiere

1857 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Simon Boccanegra" premieres in Venice

  • 1862 24th Grand National: Harry Lamplugh wins aboard The Huntsman; first French trained winner; only human fatality recorded in the event, jockey Joe Wynne
  • 1867 Last French troops leave Mexico
  • 1868 Great Britain annexes Basutoland in Africa (later renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho)
  • 1868 Henry O'Farrell attempts to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Sydney, Australia, Duke is shot but survives
  • 1868 US Congress abolishes manufacturer's tax
  • 1877 Great Britain annexes Walvis Bay at Cape colony, Southern Africa.
  • 1881 Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut as the world's first black international football player and captain
  • 1884 Mississippi establishes 1st US state college for women
  • 1888 2nd day of the Great blizzard of '88 in north east US (400 die)
  • 1889 Battle at Metema (Gallabad): Ethiopian Emperor Yohannes IV, defeated
  • 1889 Start of South Africa's 1st Test, v England, Port Elizabeth

Music Concert

1891 Clara Schumann plays Johannes Brahms's "Variations on a Theme by Haydn" for two pianos, with James Kwast in her last public concert (Frankfurt, Germany)

Coca-Cola Sold in Bottles

1894 Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time in a candy store in Vicksburg, Mississippi

  • 1894 Pittsburgh issues free season tickets for ladies on Tuesday & Friday
  • 1896 1st movie in Netherlands (Kalverstr 220)

Music Premiere

1897 Vincent d'Indy's opera "Fervaal" premieres in Brussels

  • 1900 President Steyn of Orange Free state flees from Bloemfontein
  • 1901 Ground is broken for Boston's 1st AL ballpark (Huntington Ave Grounds)
  • 1903 New York Highlanders (Yankees) baseball franchise is approved as a member of the American League
  • 1904 1st main line electric train in UK (Liverpool to Southport)

Event of Interest

1904 Andrew Carnegie establishes Carnegie Hero Fund

  • 1905 The continuing strikes and disorders that unsettle Italy force out Premier Giovanni Giolitti, though he will return in March, 1906
  • 1906 Heavy storm ravages Dutch west coast
  • 1908 Stanley Cup, Montreal Arena, Westmount, Quebec: Montreal Wanderers beat Winnipeg Maple Leafs, 9-3 for 2-0 sweep of challenge series
  • 1908 The Pan-Macedonian group is formed in Athens to support the Greek Struggle for Macedonia
  • 1909 Alarmed over increasing German naval strength, Parliament passes a new naval appropriations bill
  • 1910 Stanley Cup, Montreal Arena, Westmount, Quebec: Montreal Wanderers beat Berlin Dutchmen (ON), 7-3
  • 1912 Establishment of the first football club in Bulgaria - Botev Plovdiv

Event of Interest

1912 Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) forms in Savannah, by Juliette Gordon Low

Film & TV History

1912 Helen Hayes Theater (Little Theatre) opens at 240W 44th St, NYC

  • 1913 Foundation stone of the Australian capital in Canberra laid
  • 1916 French airship mistakenly attacks and sinks British submarine D3 with loss of all hands

Event of Interest

1917 A German submarine sinks an unarmed US merchant ship, the 'Algonquin' on the same day that US President Woodrow Wilson gives executive order to arm US merchant ships

  • 1917 In the wake of the February Revolution, Communist Party members Joseph Stalin, Lev Kamenev and Matvei Muranov arrive in Petrograd (St Petersburg) and seize control of the Pravda newspaper
  • 1917 [OS Feb 27] Russian Duma sets up the Provisional Committee; Soviets form Executive Committee

Event of Interest

1918 Fearing foreign invasion Vladimir Lenin shifts revolutionary Russia's capital from Petrograd (St. Petersburg) to Moscow

  • 1919 Austrian National Meeting affirms Anschluss (incorporate into Germany)

Theater Premiere

1919 George Bernard Shaw's comedy play "Augustus Does His Bit" premieres in NYC

Conference of Interest

1921 Cairo Conference begins, British meeting to determine Middle Eastern policies, Gertrude Bell and T. E. Lawrence attend

Agreement of Interest

1925 British government of Stanley Baldwin refuses to ratify Geneva agreement

  • 1926 Denmark begins unilateral disarmament

Appointment of Interest

1926 Pope Pius XI names J E van Roey archbishop of Malines Belgium

  • 1928 In California, the St. Francis Dam fails, killing over 600 people

Event of Interest

1930 Mahatma Gandhi begins his famous 200 mile (300km) protest march against the widely hated British salt tax

  • 1930 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh] sets world record for the 220-yard dash (0:26.1)

Event of Interest

1933 FDR conducts his 1st "fireside chat"

  • 1934 Acting President Constantine Päts commits coup in Tallinn, Estonia

Music History

1934 Paul Hindemith's "Mathis der Maler" premieres in Berlin

  • 1935 Britain establishes 30 MPH speed limit for towns & villages
  • 1938 Nazi Germany invades Austria (Anschluss)

Event of Interest

1939 Pope Pius XII crowned in Vatican ceremonies

  • 1940 Finland signs the Moscow Peace Treaty in Moscow, surrendering to Russia and ceding 11% of their pre-WWII territory, ending the "Winter War"
  • 1941 German occupiers confiscate AVRO studios in Netherlands
  • 1942 British troops vacate the Andaman Islands in Gulf of Bengal
  • 1943 Soviet troops liberate Wjasma
  • 1945 30 Amsterdammers executed by nazi occupiers
  • 1945 Italy's Communist Party (CPI) calls for armed uprising in Italy
  • 1945 NY is 1st to prohibit discrimination by race and creed in employment
  • 1945 USSR returns Transylvania to Romania
  • 1947 "Chocolate Soldier" opens at Century Theater NYC for 69 performances
  • 1947 Belgian government of Huysmans resigns

Event of Interest

1947 US President Harry Truman introduces Truman-doctrine to fight communism

  • 1948 -5°F lowest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland, Ohio in month of March (record tied in 1984)
  • 1949 Ireland retains Five Nations Rugby Championship & Triple Crown with a 5-0 win over Wales at St. Helen's Ground, Swansea
  • 1950 Belgium votes (58%) for return of King Leopold III
  • 1950 Pope Pius XII encyclical "On combating atheistic propaganda"
  • 1951 Baseball Commish Happy Chandler loses fight (9-7) to stay in office
  • 1951 Comic strip "Dennis the Menace," 1st appears in the British comic magazine The Beano'
  • 1951 Communist troops driven out of Seoul

Music Premiere

1954 1st performance of Arnold Schoenberg's opera "Moses und Aaron", in a concert setting in Hamburg, Germany

  • 1956 Dow Jones closes above 500 for 1st time (500.24)
  • 1957 German DR accepts 22 Russian divisions

Historic Publication

1957 Random House and Houghton-Mifflin co-publish "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss

  • 1958 3rd Eurovision Song Contest: Andre Claveau for France wins singing "Dors, mon amour" in Hilversum
  • 1958 British Empire Day is renamed "Commonwealth Day"
  • 1959 Dutch Liberal Party wins 2nd parliamentary elections
  • 1959 US House joins Senate approving Hawaii statehood
  • 1962 Dutch Premier De Quay announces secret talks with Indonesia

Music History

1963 Beatles perform as a trio, at Granada Cinema, in Bedford, England, as John Lennon is ill with a cold

  • 1964 S. N. Behrman's play "But for Whom Charlie" premieres in NYC
  • 1964 Union leader Jimmy Hoffa sentenced to 8 years
  • 1964 WKAB TV channel 32 in Montgomery, AL (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1965 "Wooly Bully" single released by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs

NHL Record

1966 Chicago Black Hawks Bobby Hull's 51st goal of season, sets record

Sports History

1966 Jockey Johnny Longden retires after 40 years (6,032 wins)

  • 1966 Love's 1st album released "Love"
  • 1966 Pioneer Plaza dedicated
  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 Austria's Reinhold Bachler ski jumps 505 feet

Appointment of Interest

1967 Indonesian congress strips President Sukarno of authority and names General Suharto as acting President

  • 1968 Indian Ocean island nation Mauritius gains independence from Britain (National Day)
  • 1968 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Grammy Awards

1969 11th Grammy Awards: "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" by Glen Campbell wins best record

  • 1969 120 cannabis joints found at George & Patti Harrison's home
  • 1970 US lowers voting age from 21 to 18

Election of Interest

1971 Hafez al-Assad consolidates power in Syria by installing himself as President

  • 1971 The Allman Brothers Band record their live album "Live at Fillmore East" on this date and the following day
  • 1971 Thousands of Belfast shipyard workers march demanding the introduction of Internment for members of the Irish Republican Army
  • 1971 Turkish Government of Demirel forced to resign by Army
  • 1973 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In last airs on NBC-TV

Event of Interest

1974 Ted Bundy victim Donna Manson disappears from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington (body never found)

  • 1975 Vietcong conquer Ban me Thuot, South Vietnam
  • 1976 South African troops leave Angola

Event of Interest

1977 Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet bans the Christian-Democratic Party

Event of Interest

1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat pledges to regain Arab territory from Israel

World Record

1978 American speed skater Eric Heiden sets world record in 1000m (1:14.99)

Glass Houses

1980 Columbia Records releases "Glass Houses", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's seventh studio album; it features his 1st No.1 single - "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"

Murder of Interest

1980 Jury finds John Wayne Gacy guilty of murdering 33 in Chicago

  • 1980 NY Islanders 3rd scoreless tie, vs Pittsburgh Penguin
  • 1981 Soyuz T-4 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station

Music Premiere

1981 Stephen Sondheim's musical revue "Marry Me a Little," premieres in NYC

  • 1981 Walter R T Witschey installs world's largest sundial in Richmond, Virginia

Sports History

1982 1st-class debut of Courtney Walsh, Jamaica v Leeward Islands

  • 1982 PLO chief Yassar Arafat appears on "Nightline"
  • 1983 4th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: St. John's beats Boston College, 85-77
  • 1983 Don Ritchie runs world record 50 mile (4:51:49)
  • 1984 British National Union of Mine Workers headed by Arthur Scargill supports regional strikes, calls for national action

Sports History

1985 Larry Bird scores Boston Celtic record 60 points

  • 1986 210.25 million shares traded in NY Stock Exchange
  • 1986 Susan Butcher wins 1,158 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
  • 1987 "Les Miserables" opens at Broadway/Imperial NYC for 4000+ performances

Sports History

1987 David Robinson scores 50 points in a NCAA basketball game

Event of Interest

1987 Federal judge dismisses lawsuits sought by Oliver North

  • 1987 Ice Pairs World Championship at Cincinnati won by Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov (USSR)
  • 1987 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Cincinnati won by Brian Orser (Canada)
  • 1987 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk (Soviet Union)
  • 1989 10th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: Georgetown beats Syracuse, 88-79

People's Choice Awards

1989 15th People's Choice Awards: Dustin Hoffman & Meryl Streep win (Dramatic Motion Picture) and Bill Cosby & Phylicia Rashad win (TV)

  • 1989 2 cyanide-contaminated Chilean grapes found (Philadelphia)
  • 1989 30th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Alabama beats Florida, 72-60
  • 1989 36th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: #9 North Carolina beats #7 Duke, 77-74

Event of Interest

1989 Computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee submits his first proposal for an "information management system" to his boss at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) who finds it “vague, but exciting”

  • 1989 Madagascar AREMA party wins parliamentary election
  • 1990 LA Raiders announce their return to Oakland

Soul Train Music Awards

1991 5th Soul Train Music Awards: Johnny Gill, Mariah Carey win

  • 1991 OPEC announces oil production cut to 22.3 Mbbl/d (3,550,000 m3/d)
  • 1992 Mauritius becomes a republic while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations

Music Concert

1992 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, and Don Henley

  • 1993 317 killed by bomb attacks in Bombay
  • 1993 Cleveland radio station WMMS-FM/101.7 is bought by Disney
  • 1993 Entertainment Tonight's 3,000th show
  • 1993 Inkhata leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi begins 2½ week speech
  • 1994 The Church of England ordains its first ever 33 female priests
  • 1995 16th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: Villanova beats Connecticut, 94-78
  • 1995 36th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Kentucky beats Arkansas, 95-93 (OT)
  • 1995 42nd ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: #7 Wake Forest beats #4 North Carolina, 82-80 (OT)
  • 1995 Congress party loses India national election
  • 1995 Ice Dance Championship at Birmingham UK won by Gritshuk & Platov (RUS)
  • 1995 Ice Pairs Championship at Birmingham won by Radka Kovarikova & Rene Novotny

Sports History

1995 Lara scores 139 in ODI v Australia at Port-of-Spain

  • 1995 Letitia Vriesde runs South American indoor record 800m (2:00.35)
  • 1995 World Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Birmingham won by Chen Lu (China)

Event of Interest

1995 World Men's Figure Skating Champions in Birmingham won by Elvis Stojko of Canada

  • 1996 Leeward Islands beat Trinidad by 73 runs to win Red Stripe Trophy
  • 1998 "The Sound of Music" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC
  • 1999 Former Warsaw Pact members the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland join NATO.
  • 2000 41st SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Arkansas beats Auburn, 75-67
  • 2000 47th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: #3 Duke beats #20 Maryland, 81-68

Ice Age

2002 Animated film "Ice Age" directed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha, with voices by Denis Leary and John Leguizamo premieres

  • 2002 US crime series "The Shield" starring Michael Chiklis premieres on FX
  • 2003 Elizabeth Smart found after having been missing for 9 months.
  • 2003 Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade.
  • 2004 Music work "I La Galigo" by Richard Wilson debuts in Singapore, based on Bugis creation myth from South Sulawesi (world's most voluminous literary work)
  • 2004 Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea, is impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation's history.
  • 2005 26th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: Syracuse beats West Virginia, 68-59
  • 2005 Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, steps down from his post after his resignation is approved by the Chinese central government.
  • 2006 47th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Florida beats South Carolina, 49-47